HBO’s new series Bored to Death has a lot going for it. Well, it’s got Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson, who, in the latest episode, was described by his erudite gay male escort as “a buff Samuel Beckett.” But don’t take my word for it. I write in full sentences and sometimes put my name on things. Who needs capitalized letters muddying up their opinions, anyway?
Bucking the long held tradition of quoting snippets of reviews from cited journalistic sources, HBO is now running a promo for the show that features mini-reviews from Twitter users (op-tweets?). The chosen three:
i heart jason schwartzman!
i think i’ve found my new favorite show.
Whose fave is the show, instantly? Plectrude, according to Twitter and her Blogger profile, is a “media junkie” in Romania who finds that “sometimes, society makes sick, and other times it intimidates me.” She is also 23 years old and a Libra.
And is it really Bucky Gunts, 19-time Emmy Award-winning sports director, who has a crush on Jason Schwartzman? Perhaps, if he puts 29-year-old casting assistant Christi Webb in charge of his Tweetage. (But, given the content, I doubt it.)
The other Twit who considers Bored to Death his favorite show is Daryl Smith, a self-diagnosed ADD “info junkie” (different from a media junkie – check the DSM IV) with a Tumblr account.
Out of context exclamations like “Spectacular!” and “Witty!” mean little enough when credited to well known and respected publications with established reviewers on staff. The changing whims of someone micro-blogging under a pseudonym — a nome de tweet, if you’re feeling fancy — have no place in official HBO marketing materials. The fact that Webb helped cast Christina Applegate’s sitcom, Samantha Who?, or that Dazreil follows Jon Favreau does not make them Hollywood authorities.
To be clear, I’m not trying to attack these individuals. (OK, maybe a little.) As a matter of fact, a cursory review of Mr. Smith’s posts shows he and I might share some musical tastes, and as I am also the author of an unedited and advertiser-less media blog, I come from a place of understanding.
What I don’t understand is why HBO promotional execs thought it would be compelling to potential new viewers to read the 140-character-or-less recommendations of three anonymous schmos. I imagine the reasoning went something like this:
Newspapers = dinosaurs. Twitter = cutting edge. Cutting edge = young audiences. Twitter reviews = ratings gold!
Maybe this is a sign that we need to put an age maximum on the Internet.